Local Mbassy is what happens when a food stylist runs the kitchen.
This is the place for Red Velvet Pancakes. 90% of clientele are pancake enthusiasts seeking the X-factor that a simple shaker bottle home job cannot deliver. The other 10% are their unwilling partners.
Location-wise, the cafe does not appeal due to traffic noise, proximity to dog tracks and a distinct odour most likely from the nearby Fish Market.
At the front is a mountain of Cronuts that act as an edible wall between the patrons and Barista. Like the menu, it is very theatrical.
3 of the 9 food items are worth investigation – pancakes, waffles and baked eggs. It is my believe that waffles are the same as pancakes with unnecessary square dimples. The choice is made easy and 15 min later, brunch is served to two hungry adults and a starving toddler.
Red Velvet Pancakes with strawberries and cream – $15.50
First impression is nothing short of sublime. Triple stack job, structurally reinforced with mascapone cream. You then benefit from a douse of white chocolate syrup which in theory increases sweetness and adds wetness. I do just that…
Logically, you’d expect a fluffy batter with a hint of cocoa, freshened by fruit and sweetened by the sauce. Good concept, poor execution.
The balance is comparable to a one-legged drunkard with an ear infection. Dryness (batter), combined with sugar (fruit), more sugar (cream) and more sugar (white chocolate). After the top pikelet and 3 strawberries, I am in diabetes territory and lose any desire to keep eating. The honeymoon is over.
Moving on, a Middle-Eastern staple is difficult to mess up, I think.
Slow-braised Vegetarian Shakshuka with added avocado – $17 + $4
Early red flags include:
– white turkish bread cut into triangles?
– sauce is watery.
– why is the smashed avocado so yellow?
I close my eyes and begin to believe that this is canned tomato soup – the bitter type – with Coles Home Brand bread. Uni students with a $10/day food budget will feel right at home. Well at least they nailed the yolk, which actually upsets the Missus more given runny yolk is off limits. In desperation, I offer her a consolation vegetable.
Let’s just say I did not clean the pan which is customary with baked eggs. I value this dish at $7, which is one-third RRP.
– Food (♦♦) – faultless presentation is no match for bad cooking.
– Value (♦♦♦) – high teens/dish for rudimentary flavours. Portions not bad for a 60-65kg male.
– Other (♦♦) – nice staff but a fairly child unfriendly vibe.
– Overall (♦♦) – one word: ‘disappointing‘.
We depart with the unanimous view that Local Mbassy as best suited to food voyeurists. Avoid.
Will I be returning?